Thu, Oct 21, 2010 - Page 1 News List

China in no rush to begin sensitive talks: official

Reuters, BEIJING

China is in no rush to begin talks with Taiwan over sensitive military or political issues, the head of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office was quoted as saying yesterday.

Wang Yi (王毅) told overseas Chinese in New York that promoting economic ties with Taiwan was still the priority, China’s state news agency Xinhua said.

“For the time being complex issues of politics or the military cannot be talked about, but various kinds of political dialogue can be opened to increase understanding,” Xinhua cited Wang as saying.

“What is important is to seek and maintain the stable development of relations, for only then can setbacks be avoided,” he said. “The focus for the time being and to come is still to deepen economic cooperation.”

China offered last week to open talks on military issues with Taiwan, but that drew a cool reaction from Taipei.

Ma late on Tuesday said he had no timeline for talking politics with China and would avoid any such talks until the two sides had finished with economic issues.

Wang said that forces seeking Taiwan’s formal independence remained a threat to peace and stability, an apparent reference to Taiwanese opposition parties.

If they are not “effectively and completely controlled then it will be hard to basically stabilize the situation in the Taiwan Strait, and relations ... may run the risk of stalling or going backward,” Wang said.

Meanwhile, during a session at the legislature’s Foreign and National Defense Committee yesterday, National Security Bureau (NSB) Director Tsai Der-sheng (蔡得勝) confirmed that China has increased the number of missiles it has targeting Taiwan to 1,410 from 1,328.

The NSB included the figure in a classified written report to legislators, but Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lee Chun-yee (李俊毅) cited the number in a question to Tsai, in which Tsai confirmed the figure was correct.

Commenting on Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping (習近平), who looks set to assume the top position in Beijing in 2013, Tsai said: “Xi has good contacts with Taiwanese businesspeople in Fujian, Zhejiang and Shanghai, and he knows Taiwan well compared with other politicians.”

“But knowing Taiwan does not mean being friendly to Taiwan,” Tsai said.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY RICH CHANG

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